Within the last two weeks we’ve witnessed two acts against the Jewish Community, one in our neighborhood: the malicious destruction of the Holocaust Memorial Fountain, a week ago at the Santa Rosa Memorial Cemetery – for the second time in two years – and, just today, a hostage situation at Congregation Beth Israel, in Colleyville, Texas, a suburb of Dallas-Ft Worth. An armed extremist entered their building this morning and took several people hostage, including the rabbi, Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker.
We pray the individuals who committed the malicious destruction of the fountain, regardless of whatever might have motivated their act, will be brought to justice. Even more, we pray that through restorative justice they will be able to understand the despicable nature of their act, and seek ways to make up for their destructive behavior. Certainly, the public outcry of support has been a source of strength and comfort to Dennis Judd, his family, and the leaders of Jewish institutions in Sonoma County.
Moments ago our prayers that no hostage lives be lost at Congregation Beth Israel have been answered. Texas Governor Greg Abbott announced the hostages have all been safely released. We are truly grateful and saddened at the same time. We regret this situation ever happened at all.
Throughout our daily services we pray for a time – “speedily and in our days” – when humanity will be united in heart and in service to our Divine Creator. In recognizing that we have one Ultimate Source, we can come to act as one loving family.
With every wish for a “Shavuah Tov!”